As soon as the sun slips out from behind a cloud for even the shortest period of time during the summer months, Britons up and down the country dash out into the garden with the grill and the tongs to quickly fit a BBQ in before the clouds break again. Make the most of the limited BBQ opportunities this year with our 15 simple but effective BBQ hacks.
- Keep your Meat and Fish Moist
Wrapping salmon or chicken in tin foil before placing it on the BBQ ensures that the moisture and flavour is retained. Moisture can be lost from the foodstuffs when placed directly on the grill, so this trick ensures that the flavour is ever-present. For a healthy but delicious salmon fillet recipe simply wrap a fillet in tin foil with crushed pepper and lemon in the package and then grill until cooked through.
- Put Healthy Salsa on the Kid’s Burgers
If you’re treating the kids to burgers, then you may be inclined to balance out their culinary intake with some veg and salad. Rather than trying to sneak lettuce and tomato on their burger which will promptly be removed, a healthy homemade salsa makes a fantastic healthy relish and gets the kids eating tomatoes and onions without realising it.
- Ice Cream Cups
Planning on finishing the meal with some cooling ice cream but don’t want to start prepping and scooping after a big eat and a few glasses of wine? Circumnavigate this issue by scooping the ice cream into cupcake cups before the BBQ and place back in the fridge. Then kids and adults alike can simply help themselves to the small treats.
- Keep Everything at Hand
With a litany of tongs, bowls, spare plates and beer bottles necessitated by the decision to hold a BBQ, it can be difficult keeping everything at hand. All Round Fun stocks a range of BBQs that are designed to efficiently offer support as well as help you cook delicious meals. Make sure that you are never fumbling for a spare plate whilst a rogue burger burns your hand again.
- Implement a Dirty Dish Bin
Set up a dirty dish bin for people to place their dirty dishes in during the BBQ to reduce the amount of clearing that needs completing at the end. This helps clear up table space for round two, desserts and the increasing empty wine bottles.
- Implement a ‘Doneness’ Scale with Toothpick Flags
If all of your guests want their burgers done to a different level, from red and rare to burnt to a crisp – it can be difficult to keep track of their preferences. Simply implement an ordering system wherein small flags are made from toothpicks and pieces of printed paper. Print differing cooking options from ‘rare’ to ‘super well done’ and leave a space for the guests’ name. Your guests can then write their name on the corresponding flag and pop it in the bun of their choice. Identities won’t be mixed up and everyone will receive the burger they want.
- Keep Bottles Cool with Frozen Water Balloons
Make sure your beer and white wine doesn’t spoil by keeping it cool in a home-made freezer box. Frozen water balloons will retain their frozen integrity much longer than normal ice, keeping your bottles cool for longer. Simply place these alongside the bottles in a large bucket or box. Just make sure the kids don’t start throwing them around like water balloons.
- Skewer Veg for Easy Flipping
Losing thin bits of veg like asparagus between the grill is a very real fear for the BBQ chef. Use a kebab skewer to keep a bunch of veg together and easy to flip. This will also move to ensure than no veg is left behind during the flipping process leading to more even cooking.
- Double up on Meat Skewers
If you are BBQing meat kebabs, double up on the skewers to ensure that pieces of meat do not rotate during flips. Rotating meat can lead to one side getting burnt and the other remaining uncooked and potentially dangerous.
- Tie a Bottle Opener to the Beer Bucket
Alleviate the risk of the inopportune bottle opener hunt that takes place about 18 times a BBQ by tying one to the beer bucket. This stops it ending up in the dish washer or in some absent-minded person’s pocket.
- Implement Self Service
The BBQ is glorious for the relaxed atmosphere that is cultivated. Ensure that this is retained by implementing an informal self-service structure. A drinks table set up with everything necessary to build soft drinks and cocktails as well as beer and wine helps alleviate any empty glass awkwardness. After the initial round of food, keep the leftovers heated over a low heat and invite people to help themselves whenever they are hungry.
- Slow down Ice Melting with Salt
If you have an iced wine or beer bucket, slow down the melting process of the ice by adding salt. The salt makes the temperature of the watery/icy mixture drop, leading to a lower rate of melting, keeping your ice solid for longer.
- Set up a Sun Cream Station
Sometimes in Britain, there is a tendency to neglect the application of sun cream in the midst of the surprise that the sun is shining, potentially leading to sun burn and skin damage. Ensure that this is not the case by setting a Sun Cream Station. A small bucket with a variety of different factors in the shade will be useful for all attendees who want to apply the cream or top up. Additional items can be added, such as allergy tablets or bug spray.
- Leave Sugary Sauces Until the End
If you are coating your meat in a sweet sauce, leave this task until last. Sugar burns incredibly easily, so the longer you leave it on the grill the more of the flavour will be burnt of leading to a flavour that’s more earthy than sweet. You want the sauce to caramelise, not burn.
- Clean your BBQ Grill with Half an Onion
Cleaning the BBQ grill is one of the least fancied tasks of the year. Cooked on food and charcoal can make it an incredibly difficult task. Simplify this task by cleaning the grill with half an onion. Make sure that the grill is heated and the wipe down with half a white onion pierced by a BBQ fork. This will loosen much of the contaminants and makes the grill easier to wash and wipe down.